Middle Eastern Scale: Theory & Ear Training

c middle eastern scale solfege

An exotic-sounding scale that is the basis for the joyous Jewish folk song “Hava Nagila”…

C Middle Eastern Scale Theory…

  1. The scale structure of the Middle Eastern Scale is always 1-b2-3-4-5-b6-7-1, no matter what key you are in.
  2. The Solfege syllables of the Middle Eastern Scale are always Do-Ra-Mi-Fa-So-Le-Ti-Do, no matter what key you are in.
  3. The only thing that changes when you change keys are the letter names.

Comparative Scale Study

Play and sing the Middle Eastern Scale and Major Scale side-by-side–and notice the dramatic effect created by changing two notes: Ra instead of Re and Le instead of La. Notice how these unique tensions allow you to create a whole new kind of music, a very exotic sound that is instantly recognizable!

Solfege Ear Training

Reading, playing, and singing the Solfege syllables out loud is an extremely effective way to tune up your ears and to internalize the unique sound-feeling of each note in the scale with respect to the key center Do. Make sure to do this slowly enough for the unique sound-feeling of each Solfege syllable to make a meaningful impression on your mind’s ear.

C Middle Eastern Scale: Linear, Ascending…


C Middle Eastern Scale: Linear, Descending…


C Middle Eastern Scale: Do-X-Do, Ascending…


C Middle Eastern Scale: Do-X-Do, Descending…


Note: While it’s possible to continue by singing a bunch of other musical patterns, the 80-20 Principle teaches us that a more efficient approach is to get your ear training material directly from the music that YOU want to play!

learn more… Japanese Scale: Theory & Ear Training